Thursday, July 4, 2013

Hi turkeys

Hi all!  This post was actually started in the second week of June, but then, a lot of weather and weeds and work started happening in our little fields, and well, here we are, at the beginning of July already!  BUT, I wanted to post it now anyways as part of this season’s timeline, and because who doesn’t love reading about the antics of farm babies?  No one, right?!  So here we go:   

Anyone who has spent much time with this farmer girl knows that for many years I have tended to use “turkey” as an affectionate adjective to describe other, generally non-feathered, farm animals behaving in mildly amusing, silly, or ridiculous ways.  I’ll say things like “Hey, you turkey!”, or exclaim “What a turkey!”, in a clearly smiling tone of voice.  Occasionally, I’ll use “turkey” to refer to a flock of people, often family members and close friends.  I’ll write things in emails to them like “Cannot wait to see you turkeys!”  Well, let me just tell you how hilarious I’m finding it to start my mornings by, in all seriousness, chatting away to my new fuzzy friends as I approach their brooder, greeting eleven of them as, well, actual turkeys – pretty darn hilarious!  Keeping an easy sense of humour in farming is important, as otherwise there might just be too much at times threatening to bring you down.  :O)
So, Fairmeadow’s turkeys!  Many, many books and people offer grave warnings about how intellectually challenged this bird is.  Well, this bunch is proving them all to be very, very wrong, and I love it!  

Attempting to be clever myself, I made a hay bale wall at one end of the brooder to be able to change feed, bedding and water without any babies escaping or catching a nasty draft while the door is open.  Well, it was less than a week before a majority of the turkeys could scale said wall with only a short running start, and very regularly by just over a week old that my three particular poult-y friends were up there waiting for me by the time I was at the door.  So much for not being able to tolerate any drafts, ever, until a couple weeks old, too! 

So, to try again to keep everyone somewhat secure and contained, a small outdoor enclosure was built, with hay bales placed on their taller sides this time – because resistance to their desire to explore at least a tiny additional portion of the big, wide world was becoming futile.  Sure enough, it wasn’t two more days until one (followed very shortly by all the others) had enough athletic prowess and curiosity to hop the taller wall.   

Cue an additional layer of hay bales being added to the poultry paddock.  Cue the turkeys just trying harder, and soon scaling the higher wall, no sweat.  And then climbing on the top of the hobbit brooder, and then wandering around the headlands hunting for exciting things as I finish up the chores, and then scurrying into the potato patch to continue the hunting…and then chirping their discontent rather definitely upon being scooped up in my paws and returned to the security of the brooder.  “Where’s your sense of adventure?”, they peep.  In wanting to give them a stress-free and happy life, I thought they were too little to hear farm fairy tales of the big bad wolf (or barn cat, or coyote, or fox) just yet, so I just told them I had none, and they were just going to have to content themselves with a more limited experience of the world, at least until they’re a month old.     

Needless to say, perhaps, despite the long and important veggie task list in progress, the trip to collect the electrified poultry netting, fencer, battery, and building materials for their pasture pens was expedited.

Anything to keep them happy - the turkeys!    

p.s.  If I have time, I will try to write a detailed post about the chickies, and their desperate attempts to defy the bodies they've been bred to have and attempt to keep up with the turkeys.  It will be heartwarming, heartbreaking, and hilarious in equal measure.  They try awfully hard, but are just getting too chubby for their wings to lift them to any sort of lofty heights (though they can run around on the ground, no problem).  One attempted to make it onto my shoulder recently, and it was like an un-conditioned climber attempting Everest.  I wanted to get it a little Sherpa and a tiny oxygen tank!  Pretty cute, and inspiring in terms of ambition.  I definitely continue to applaud/encourage their efforts, and follow their example in pushing myself to work harder to do things others think are beyond my realm of possibility!  :O)       

1 comment:

Captain Underpants said...

So what you are saying is you have a flock of cata-poultry
Xo, love the updates. Marianne